One More “National Emergency”

We have an imaginary national emergency on the border and we will throw money at a problem that does not exist only in the mind of a delusional malignant toad.

He, Trump, has even stopped aid to “3 Mexican counties” (as FOX News put it…..”
Sunday morning’s Fox & Friends applauded President Donald Trump’s Saturday directive to cut aid to Central American countries by declaring, “Trump Cuts U.S Aid to 3 Mexican Countries.” )…..he keeps doubling down on this border fantasy that his base laps up like sweet pudding…….

Taking drastic action over illegal immigration, President Trump moved Saturday to cut direct aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, whose citizens are fleeing north and overwhelming US resources at the southern border. The State Department notified Congress that it would look to suspend 2017 and 2018 payments to the trio of nations, which have been home to some of the migrant caravans that have marched through Mexico to the US border, reports the AP.

We know there will be a full field of Dem candidates for 2020….so the question is will Trump stand for re-election?

My thought is yes he will because he has not milking all the money he can out of the presidency.

Now let’s say he loses his bid….will he go peacefully from office?

What better way to retain that hold than to use a tactic he, Trump, has used before….declare a “national emergency” and stay in the White House until the legal wrangling is over.

I wrote about that awhile back……https://lobotero.com/2019/03/18/will-he-ever-go/

The below article was printed in Raw Story…..it pertains to the Mueller Report more so than an election but the outcome could be the same…..

But ultimately, politics is not about what is always right and just but rather what is practical and expedient.

Why is impeaching Donald Trump viewed by many people — including prominent Democrats — as a near-term impossibility? Could impeachment succeed, and under what circumstances? Are congressional investigations and hearings a better way of holding Trump and his administration accountable for their misdeeds and general disregard for democracy? What would happen if Donald Trump were to be impeached and convicted, or if he loses the 2020 presidential election? Would he declare a national emergency in an effort to stay in office?

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/trump-may-not-leave-office-peacefully-will-declare-national-emergency-loses-2020-harvard-constitution-expert/

I recall there were many that thought GW and Obama would use their executive power to retain office, their hold on the presidency, but Trump strikes me as someone who would want to retain his strangle hold on the country and its policies.

Side Note: This is just an opinion….no one is saying this will happen….just that it could….please do some thought before attacking….works best for everyone.

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Can He Do That?

The big story these days is the fact that our Dear president has declared a “national emergency” so he can fulfill an ego trip to build a wall for a Trump plaque.

Now the Dems and others will be challenging the “declaration” in court…..”a big beautiful wall”…can he do that? When a president threatens to exercise the power to declare a national emergency, our system of checks and balances faces a crucial test. With President Trump threatening such a declaration in order to build his proposed physical border wall, that test could be an important one that could quickly implicate your right to privacy and a transparent government.

EFF has long tangled with governmental actions rooted in presidential power. From mass telephone records collection to tapping the Internet backbone, and from Internet metadata collection to biometric tracking and social media monitoring, claims of national crisis have often enabled digital policies that have undermined civil liberties. Those policies quickly spread far beyond their initial justification. We have also seen presidential authorities misused to avoid the legislative process—and even used to try to intimidate courts and prevent them from doing their job to protect our rights.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/15/national-emergencies-constitutional-and-statutory-restrictions-presidential-powers

Trump’s announcement looks like the first step of a person trying to cease power for himself and himself alone…..we cannot and should not support or allow him to do so……

presidential declaration of a national emergency is an outrageous abuse of power – perhaps the most dangerous yet by the unstable and increasingly autocratic President Donald Trump. If this invocation of emergency on false pretenses is tolerated, it could justify almost limitless abuses of presidential and military power, including far-reaching clampdowns on civil rights.

This unlawful and unconstitutional action is going to be challenged in court, including by Public Citizen. On behalf of several Texas landowners and a Texas environmental organization that will experience firsthand the immediate impact of Trump’s illegal emergency declaration, we will sue to challenge his unconstitutional attempt to circumvent the legislative process.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/15/why-we-must-stop-unstable-trump-and-his-dangerous-national-emergency-declaration

The American people should demand their reps do everything possible to stop this ego trip……it is a manufactured crisis of no basis……his action is ripped from a playbook for dictators (like it or not)……https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-rempel-trump-marcos-parallels-20190214-story.html

On the other hand if he is successful (after all he has stacked the Courts with lackeys) the next Dem president could do the same for such true emergencies as guns, climate, etc…..

Let the lawsuits begin!

When will the GOP step up and do what is right?  This is the perfect situation where they can get off the Trump merry-go-round……but will they?

Personally, I have NO problem watching the GOP implode….but it is just a little sad to watch it destroy itself…..principles be damned!

Dear Leader’s Sanctions

Our Dear Leader met with Vlad the Putin in Helsinki and the media went bat crap crazy……speculation ran like wine in the street…..but let’s be honest….Trump has attempted to put all this criticism to bed (pun was not intended….but now that I wrote it…maybe it was)

To put the speculation about the the voter tampering on the back page of the newspaper……

The White House is crafting on an executive order that would give President Trump the authority to sanction foreigners who interfere in U.S. elections, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The news outlet obtained an eight-page draft of the order, which allows the president to impose sanctions on “10 of the 30 largest businesses” in a country whose government has interfered in the U.S. electoral process.

Those penalties would only be imposed mandatorily if foreigners are found to have meddled, the Post reported. Similar sanctions already have been implemented against Russians determined to have interfered in the 2016 election.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/401012-white-house-working-on-executive-order-to-allow-trump-to-punish

Then there was the news about the Russian poisoning in the UK…..Dear Leader will weigh in on this also……

Months after Britain alleged that the Russian government carried out nerve-agent attacks in Salisbury, the Trump Administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, aimed to punish them for the incident.

The Novichuk poisoning incident was claimed by Britain’s government, but contested by Russia. There was never conclusive evidence to support the claims Russia was behind it. At the time, the US expelled a number of Russian diplomats, that too nominally over the poisonings.

(antiwar.com)

The problem for me with this is story……the US has never answered the question of how it decided to accept Britain’s allegations without evidence. It’s also not clear why the US decided to wait five months after the expulsions to impose the sanctions. Still, sanctioning Russia happens so often the US doesn’t often need much excuse on timing or pretext.

The White House is trying to silence some of the criticism by these moves…..but now the question is….will it work?  NOT!

Then there is another way of looking into sanctions…….

It’s embarrassing enough to have Donald Trump as president. But now American citizens have to endure the additional pain of the sanctions that other countries are imposing on the United States. Doesn’t the world realize that we’re suffering enough as it is? That seems so grossly unfair.

Oh, but wait: that’s how sanctions work.

https://theantimedia.com/impose-sanctions-on-donald-trump/

So I Have Written!

Turn The Page!

Does Anyone Know What It Says?

Remember the Muslim Ban?

Everyone has an opinion whether it is good or bad….even though the first EO was whacked on the pee pee we have a new one…..the updated version…..I waited a couple of days to see what the chatter would be all about…..

The White House is rolling out its new travel ban after the first one got hung up in the courts. The big difference, as expected, is that Iraq is no longer on the banned list after promising to beef up screening, reports the AP. That leaves six Muslim-majority nations: Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The new directive, scheduled to take effect March 16, will prohibit new visas from being issued to travelers from those nations for 90 days, but those with current visas won’t be affected. The revised order generally makes more exceptions than the first one, notes the Washington Post, including for those who are permanent legal residents of the US. President Trump signed it Monday, though not in a public ceremony as with the first.

“If you have travel docs, if you actually have a visa, if you are a legal permanent resident, you are not covered under this particular executive action,” adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Monday, per CNN. The order also will suspend the nation’s refugee program for 120 days, making exceptions for those already cleared, and it will cap the total number of refugees at 50,000 for fiscal 2017, down about half from last year. So will the narrower scope appease critics? Early reaction suggests not. “The president has said he would ban Muslims, and this revised version—in these preliminary fact sheets—still does that, even if they have removed Iraq from the list,” says the director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

People will debate and argue but really how many know what the EO states?

My guess is….very few…..but I can help with that…..Want to know the difference between Trump’s last executive order and his latest? Data visualization specialist and longtime friend of Just Security, John Emerson, gave us this line-by-line comparison of the two documents. Anything in red is text that was cut from the original order. Anything marked green is new material while white is unchanged text.

Source: A Line-by-Line Comparison Between Trump’s Original Muslim Ban and Today’s | Just Security

The problem is that few see the benefit from this ban…even the American Conservative does not see the need……

Benjamin Wittes acknowledges that the Trump administration made a number of important concessions in its revised travel ban order, but still says this:

To be sure, the new version of the executive order will have consequences—all of them bad. It will keep large numbers of people from six countries out of the United States for no good reason [bold mine-DL]. It will delay resettlement of large numbers of refugees and prevent altogether resettlement in the United States of a smaller number of refugees. As with the earlier version of the executive order, the overwhelming majority of people affected by this one will not be terrorists or even people against whom there is whiff of suspicion. The overwhelming majority of those affected, rather, will be innocent victims of horrific violence and folks who just want to come to the United States for reasons of tourism or business [bold mine-DL]. It’s terrible policy that

Source: The U.S. Doesn’t Benefit from the Revised Ban | The American Conservative

Now go ahead…..debate your butts off!

Executive Orders–Part Deux

One last thought about the EOs being signed at a rate almost unheard of in these days……

To my friends on the Right–you remember Obama and his use of executive orders (EOs)….remember you guys called it an affront to American democracy and a circumvention of the Constitution?  Does any of that ring a bell?  I thought not.

It appears that our new president has started his rule with the issuance of EOs…if you recall that was called “lawless tyranny”……just as late as last month.

I wrote about this just the other day in my Closing Thought……(just in case you may have missed my poignant post…..link is below)

Source: Closing Thought–24Jan17 – In Saner Thought

Since I wrote that piece, just days ago, more has come to light……it appears that he is just as good at it as his predecessor, Obama……..

The speed with which President Trump issued executive orders on pipelines, abortion, and trade deals in recent days has alarmed critics—but he’s not behaving very differently than his predecessor. Trump’s pace on executive orders is similar to that of Barack Obama, whose orders in his first week included one to close Gitmo within a year, though George W. Bush and Bill Clinton went a lot slower. Bustle describes the trend as a product of partisanship, with Trump following Obama’s lead in using the “absolute maximum of presidential power” without seeking the approval of Congress. A roundup of executive order coverage:

  • The Washington Post looks at how far presidents from Harry Truman onward have gone in revoking the orders of previous presidents. Obama holds the speed record, with eight in his first 30 days, while George W. Bush set the record for quantity by reversing 64 previous executive orders during his term.
  • According to the Pew Research Center, Obama issued fewer executive orders per year than any president since Grover Cleveland 120 years ago, with Obama’s 277 executive orders working out to 35 per year, compared to 36 for George W. Bush, 48 for Ronald Reagan, a record 307 per year for FDR, and one per year for George Washington. A full list is here.
  • Roll Call takes a look at all the executive orders issued in the early days of the last four presidencies, noting that Trump is the first since Clinton to sign one on his very first day in office.
  • CNN looks at what can and cannot be done with executive orders, and at the pros and cons of using them instead of laws passed by Congress. One big plus for laws passed by Congress is that they can’t be so easily overturned by the next president.

The wall is moving forward: President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order authorizing work to begin on his long-promised border wall with Mexico, reports the Washington Post.

Trump actually signed two executive actions related to immigration while at DHS. He also will beef up border security by increasing the number of detention centers and field agents, and he’ll penalize US cities—so-called “sanctuary cities”—that fail to comply with immigration laws by withholding federal grant money.

Why is this necessary for Trump….I mean he has control of both Houses of Congress…that should speed his agenda along…unless he does not trust the democratic process.

Is it still “lawless tyranny”?  Is he, Trump, circumventing the Constitution?  Is this more acceptable than when Obama use them?  Just what about Trump makes him above the same criticism that followed Obama around for 8 years?

Here is a final suggestion….why not dismiss the Congress and let them go back home for apparently they are not needed any longer?

(I promise this will be it for the EO controversy)

Closing Thought–24Jan17

Those Damn Executive Orders!

Obama signed a buttload of EOs while in office…not as many as Bush2 or Clinton but a bunch nonetheless ….and of course because he signed them the Right was livid about how he was circumventing the Constitution and defeating our democracy at the same time….

Pres. Trump in his first day of his presidency has signed EOs….you remember EOs, right?

President Trump had a busy morning, signing three executive orders on trade, abortion, and federal hiring, and issuing a warning to US companies that they’ll be penalized if they move overseas. Details:

  • TPP: As promised, Trump signed an order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the New York Times points out is President Obama’s most important trade deal, though it was never ratified by Congress. Coupled with Trump’s promise to renegotiate NAFTA, Trump’s trade stance is “a drastic reversal of decades of economic policy in which presidents of both parties have lowered trade barriers and expanded ties around the world.”
  • Hiring freeze: Trump kept another campaign promise to freeze federal hiring, except for employees involved with national security such as members of the military. The Washington Post reports that employees hired in a late rush by the outgoing Obama administration who have not started their new jobs yet may be out of luck.  (this worries me…it sounds like setting the stage to privatize our government)
  • Abortion: Trump reinstated a rule that prevents federal money from going to international aid groups that provide abortions or offer information about the procedure. Politico notes that the “Mexico City policy” has been put in place by every GOP president since Reagan and rescinded by Democratic presidents.
  • ‘Border tax’: In a meeting with business leaders Monday, Trump reinforced his “America first” message, reports the Wall Street Journal. He promised incentives for those who work and hire in the US but added, “if you go to another country … we are going to be imposing a very major border tax.”

WAIT!  I thought these were “lawless tyranny”……

My question now is….is it not a bit early in his administration for EOs?

I mean he has control of both houses of the Congress and yet he feels he needs to issue EOs….why?

Does anyone really think that we will hear about this from his supporters?  They hammered Obama for years because of them and yet this is somehow acceptable?  Why?

Should We Go Or Should We Stay?

I can hear the tune by the Clash playing in my head…love Combat rock!  But in this case I am referring to our return to action in Iraq…….there are lots of opinions on the Hill….some pro, some con…..

There is a growing cause that we should let the prez handle this in his way……Congress is waiting and watching….

The bipartisan consensus emerging among leadership on the Hill is that the President has leeway to act in Iraq as long as the mission remains narrowly defined.

It’s a hands-off approach that has afforded the White House a bit more flexibility when it comes to making strategic decisions. On Monday, the administration announced that it would be sending an additional 200 troops to Baghdad to protect the airport and American Embassy there. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told The Huffington Post that the administration continued to believe that it did not need a new congressional authorization even in light of that new troop movement.

That a little piece was reported in the HufPo.  But is it up to the prez to make that decision?  Well, if the truth be known….it is NOT up to him to make that decision…….

As the US debates its future in Iraq, all eyes are on President Obama—but where we should be looking is Capitol Hill. Yes, congressional leaders recently said Obama needed no new authorization for further military action in Iraq. “But they’re wrong,” writes Rachel Maddow in the Washington Post. The Founding Fathers gave “the responsibility for war and peace to the clamorous Congress.” The War Powers Act puts power in Obama’s hands for 60 days; after that, it’s up to lawmakers to decide whether to authorize additional troops.

The Constitution puts Congress in charge “so that decisions about war and peace would be made not on one person’s say-so but only after vigorous national debate,” and we need that debate on Iraq. There is a precedent here: A year and a half after the US departure from Vietnam, North Vietnam planned a new offensive, and President Ford sought $700 million “to stabilize the military situation.” Lawmakers’ views on the matter were clear: “Congress knew that it was in its power to say no, and it said no. There would be no second coming of America’s war in Vietnam.” Click for Maddow’s full piece.

So which is it?  Keep in mind that an election is only months away and the biggie in 2016….so of course the Congress wants someone else to make that decision so they cannot be held responsible when the next election rolls around……

As I have said before…..my opinion is watch but stay out……the region will sort this out without our interference….we may not like it but it is their region to control….any action by the US will only make more enemies…..something this country does NOT need.

With that said….I may be a dreamer…..in the end the US may have no other choice but to act.  It is going to be a balancing act something the US has NEVER been any good at doing.